Leveraging the Right Data in Your Hospital Marketing Strategy

Healthcare leaders strategizing with data points overlaid on screenJordan Kloewer, our senior health data analyst, recently led a discussion at the KC HEALTH Communicators’ fall 2022 conference. His presentation, “Data-Driven Marketing: Leveraging Data for Focus and Measuring What Matters Most,” explored best practices for informing smart hospital marketing plans. Key takeaways from Jordan’s presentation are summarized below.

We all know healthcare generates a huge amount of data. With the volume of information already out there – and the fact that data on healthcare is expected to grow double-digits faster than it will in other major industries like finance and media – a question on every hospital marketer’s mind right now is this:

How do we sort through massive mounds of information to see a clear roadmap for our marketing budget?

Answering that question requires pinpoint strategy. However, many organizations still have a knee-jerk tendency to take the “squeaky-wheel” approach, allocating marketing budgets to those physicians and groups that are most vocal about wanting promotions. But is that wise or sustainable? No, it’s neither.

Decisions about marketing dollars need to dive deep. How much market share can you realistically capture with the funds you have? How can you maximize the reach and efficacy of every dollar you spend on marketing? Is there operational alignment to support the added volume your targeted campaigns will bring? Are you promoting the services people need and want, and will you deliver experiential excellence when they get there – so you can keep the new patients and volume you acquire?

To answer these types of questions, healthcare marketers need to focus on the right findings amid troves of information. The starting point is defining service areas (primary, secondary, tertiary and total). Identifying where the highest density of people live – and then studying the demographics therein – is a good first step toward sharpening your view of what to promote and how to promote it. Today’s programmatic media buying techniques, for example, make it possible to run service line-specific campaigns down to the ZIP code level, so look closely at who you need to reach and where they are.

Beyond studying basic demographics (ages, household sizes and incomes, ethnicities, education levels, etc.), it’s important to understand their particular needs. Market utilization data will help uncover opportunities to expand and keep patients from traveling for care or choosing one of your competitors, which means protecting and growing your market share. The data you assess should answer questions like:

  • Where do most of your patients come from, and what health services do they use most?
  • Which counties in your service area account for the most discharges year-over-year?
  • When you compare your most recent community health needs assessment with the services you provide and how accessible they are, do you see gaps that need to be filled?
  • Will marketing alone fill those gaps, or do you need to address operational issues before marketing can begin?

That last question is vitally important. We cannot overemphasize the importance of ensuring operations are in sync with marketing initiatives. For example, if you promote primary care when capacity is so low that patients must wait weeks for routine appointments, your new leads will get frustrated at the outset and go elsewhere. Why spend on marketing that ultimately drives people to your competition?

Speaking of your competitors, keep a close eye on them as well:

  • Know their market share and share of voice for key service lines.
  • Pay attention to their creative campaigns – not just what they’re promoting but also how they’re promoting it (e.g., the claims they make, the consumer drivers they tap into and ignite, and how they differentiate themselves).
  • Assess how you stack up against each other in patient satisfaction (CMS rankings, online ratings, likelihood to recommend), size, location of key service lines and so forth.

Having a detailed view of your competitive positioning will aid strategic planning, spotlighting go-to-market and growth opportunities and uncovering the path forward to seize those opportunities by putting every marketing dollar to good use.

Once you’ve refined your budget allocations, you’ll want to set performance benchmarks and goals, then closely monitor upticks once your campaigns are in market. Assessing increases in patient inquiries and volume, web traffic, social media engagement, ad impressions, clicks and more helps you know at a glance what’s working well and what isn’t, so you can be nimble and quick to pivot messaging and/or spend accordingly.

Track monthly, quarterly and annually, and visualize your findings because numbers on spreadsheets do not tell the real story (at least not well). Frequent-but-consumable reporting will improve your decision-making and help executive, board and physician leadership understand how your marketing efforts will meaningfully contribute to key enterprise strategic objectives.

Looking for the right way to compile, analyze, visualize and utilize all the right data? The solution you seek lies in partnerships. Teaming up with a specialized firm like Dobies Health Marketing is a very valuable marketing investment. We help our hospital and healthcare clients create, execute and analyze smart marketing and positioning strategies to bolster their market share and share of voice. When we dive deep into the data, we’ll emerge with smart, actionable plans for success.

Contact us for strategy-first, data-driven marketing today.

Our special thanks to the KC HEALTH Communicators Board and the Kansas Hospital Association for inviting us to engage with their members on data-driven healthcare marketing strategy – and to the audience themselves, who asked excellent questions and provided valuable feedback.

Case Study: Competitive Market Intelligence for Hospitals with soviews+

A Texas-based health system facing competition in multiple metro areas sought to synthesize market data and creative samples from other top hospitals. The solution? soviews+, a custom portal featuring detailed, market-specific intelligence and creative samples from multiple DMAs in one comprehensive dashboard. Read our latest case study to learn how we leveraged soviews+ to illuminate market opportunities and capture share of voice for this health system.

Learn more about soviews+, the only interactive competitive media market profile designed exclusively for hospitals:

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

After a tumultuous 2020, I am eagerly looking forward to the future. COVID-19 is still destroying lives and livelihoods, but vaccines have arrived and our healthcare workers finally have hope. It’s that kind of hope that renews one’s belief in what’s possible. So, I decided to take some time to think about my New Year’s Resolutions. Not wanting to choose highly restrictive and unsustainable resolutions that will go by the wayside, I think I’ll do more of the things that have served me well during the Pandemic. I think these are particularly well suited to the company, as well. In 2021, I resolve to:

  1. Seek what’s possible. When you always believe in what is possible of being done, not contrary to the nature of things, good things happen.
  2. Start with strategy. “Strategy first” is our brand promise – it drives us to produce meaningful, authentic work for our clients. For me personally? Starting with strategy means tighter alignment between my goals and actions.
  3. Create new adventures. I summited Mt. Kilimanjaro two years ago, which at the time, I thought was the adventure of a lifetime. Since then, I have learned bold and sometimes risky adventures are all around us. Bold and sometimes risky is good for the company, too.
  4. Make healthy decisions. We come to work every day to change the way people think about health. I can say it is an absolute privilege to help a client, a friend or a loved one make a more informed decision about their health. More healthy decisions are good for everyone.
  5. Give back. According to research, giving back to those in need can enhance happiness, improve your health, and even extend your life. In 2020, we leveraged company resources, talent and time to improve our local communities through a Give-Join-Care approach, exceeding our Corporate Social Engagement goals in every category. I look forward to how we can help improve the health of our communities again in 2021.

Hospital Advertising Strategies to Recapture Patient Volume During the Pandemic

The first six weeks of this pandemic cut patient volume in half for U.S. health systems. Now, six months in and counting, emergency rooms continue to see patient visits down by 25% due to consumer fears of COVID-19 transmission mixed with increased use of telehealth and other alternate care settings. While trends are definitely up for virtual care, increasing overall volume for primary and specialty care remains a priority for most hospitals. From surgical, stroke and cardiac care to wellness exams, health screenings, rehab therapy, chronic care management and more, your patients have been delaying necessary care. How can you re-engage them in their health and recapture that patient volume?

Some hospital marketers are using industry list-serves to compare ideas with colleagues, occasionally sharing examples of tactics or key messages – but we know a better way. We dove into soviews+, our hospital competitive profiling solution, to share recent television spots (streaming and broadcast), digital video and other creative in market as another source of inspiration.

To help hospital marketers further refine advertising strategies, we reviewed scores of creative samples promoted by health systems across the country. We were encouraged to see marketers pivoting to digital multichannel marketing strategies to engage audiences and retain patients by making people feel comfortable seeking care again.

As the pandemic continues, how hospital marketers are meeting the challenge to bring back patients and renew their focus on health: Share on X

We emerged with three key takeaways and a handful of what we considered to be some of the best advertising examples. Enjoy!

Empathy is nice, but action is better. We have heard “We’re all in this together” repetitively as a public mantra. What patients need now is information on specific actions taken to ensure their safety and promote a renewed focus on their health. See how this spot from Yale New Haven presents a creative approach to its safety story and building confidence among patients to reconnect with their care providers:

For more clever points, Yale New Haven also does a nice job with similar ads in their “Stop Putting It Off” campaign, which lightheartedly shows the effects on everyday life when care is delayed:

There are alternatives to filming entirely within your hospital. A full-scale filming production may not be ideal for most health systems right now due to limited time and/or access to the environment given safety requirements. Alternatives include voice-overs with still photography or stock b-roll video footage, smaller-budget filming of your staff, studio interviews or self-recorded smartphone videos – like this one from Cancer Treatment Centers of America:

Physicians may have more trust. Most consumers understand that health systems need patient volume to help them recover financially. That may create a perception of desperation. However, according to a recent Kline & Partners study*, more patients are looking to their physicians to “guide” their health journeys. Watch how Advent Health and Baylor Scott & White Health infuse their physicians to bring patient safety to the forefront:

*Rob Klein, Kline & Partners, A Strategic Health Care Marketing webinar, Consumer Concerns About Receiving Care During the Pandemic —And How You Can Help Patients Come Back, June 26, 2020.

While these samples are intended to spur some creative thinking, the very best insights will come from knowing what your own competitors are saying within your own market. Only then can you truly define your own position across your competitive landscape and develop advertising assets that capture greater share of voice and ultimately higher market share. For that level of insight, take a moment to learn about soviews+, an interactive competitive media market profile tool designed exclusively for hospitals and health systems. soviews+ offers an analysis of top drivers, key messages, and more – including samples of your top competitors’ creative assets – empowering you to make strategic, data-driven market decisions to compete with confidence.

About the Author

Carol Dobies, MBA, is the CEO and Founder of Dobies Health Marketing, where she has been bringing healthcare brands to life for 35+ years. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.

Data Visualization: Illuminating Healthcare Marketing Strategies

Worldwide, the healthcare data analytics market is expected to be worth nearly $50 billion by 2024. That’s a lot of data analysis, and with good reason – it’s no secret that data drive smart decisions. And yet, we see all too often that the resulting analyses fall short of telling healthcare leaders what they really need to know.

Tables and spreadsheets have their limits – all the information is there, and it looks tidy enough, but finding the so-what amid a sea of rows and columns that extend far beyond your screen is challenging. If we keep important insights locked in cells, they don’t tell stories, so they don’t provide much value. Data visualization, on the other hand, is an excellent way to bring data to life. It heightens your ability to recognize patterns and opportunities that may otherwise get lost in the haystack.

While we long ago mastered Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics for informing web and digital marketing strategies, we use Tableau to provide custom dashboards and other data visualization tools that inform better business decisions.

Click dashboard to enlarge

“By integrating data from multiple sources and synthesizing insights into easy-to-follow visuals, we illuminate growth and new business development opportunities for our clients.”
— Jordan Kloewer, Health Data Analyst

Dashboard Analytics

Primary care is a leading indicator of market share growth in a health system, so it is important to quickly identify utilization trends by location and by service line. With dashboard analytics, it’s easier to see patterns that may predict growth or decline in new versus established patient volume – valuable information for deciding where to focus marketing efforts to meet goals, streamline operations, enhance access, or potentially transfer marketing dollars to new service lines based on volume and capacity.

Click dashboard to enlarge

Data visualization identifies trends that direct data-driven marketing decisions. Share on X

Visual Mapping

When assessing market share at the service line level, interactive charts provide the ability to add filters and legends for competitive profiling purposes. Tableau also allows for advanced visual mapping functionalities. These maps quickly plot, geographically and by volume, where competitors are located compared to other clinics, hospitals and organizations. While you may intuitively understand the competitive landscape, this tool is useful in gaining additional insight about growth opportunities in market.

Visual mapping indicates where patients originate, informing highly targeted marketing tactics to be deployed in those markets. Additionally, as a strategic planning tool, visual mapping can assist in planning for new facilities, ambulatory/outreach services, provider recruitment or service area expansion.

Click map to enlarge

Click map to enlarge

Visual mapping provides a unique view of the competitive landscape. Share on X

With the continued emphasis on data in healthcare, it’s important to optimize return on investment by making sure the data points you gather, in the end, will come together to paint a meaningful picture. Through platforms like Tableau, Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics and others – coupled with deep dives by our skilled strategists and health data analysts – our clients are seeing their market landscapes more clearly and making more informed market decisions.

For more information about market data and analytics for healthcare organizations, visit dobies.com/data.

About the Author

Carol Dobies, MBA, is the CEO and Founder of Dobies Health Marketing, where she has been bringing healthcare brands to life for 35+ years. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.


B2B Digital Marketing

Dobies Health Marketing and Grapevine Designs Collaborate to Support the KC Healthcare Community

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (May 1, 2020) – As part of their shared commitment to serving the local community, the teams at Dobies Healthcare Marketing and Grapevine Designs donated time and talent to support the launch of a new initiative from the Kansas City Healthcare Communicators Society (KCHCS). The program, called KC Loves Healthcare, recognizes and honors healthcare professionals and support teams throughout Kansas City for their heroic work and dedication.

“We commend KCHCS for creating the KC Loves Healthcare program, and we are proud to join with Grapevine Designs in contributing our resources to support the message,” said Carol Dobies, MBA, founder and chief executive officer of Dobies Health Marketing. “With local healthcare heroes doing everything they can for our KC communities from the front lines of COVID-19, there is no better time than now to lift them up by showing our shared appreciation.”

At KCLovesHealthcare.org, local businesses, hospitals and healthcare organizations can purchase custom KC Loves Healthcare apparel, totes and other items as gifts for their employees. The items all feature a locally designed, heart-shaped logo that captures the unified spirit of the Kansas City healthcare community. “Each time local health professionals use these items or see others using them out in the community, they will be reminded of how much Kansas City appreciates them,” said Janie Gaunce, president and CEO of Grapevine Designs.

The custom-designed logo is available for download from the website, making it accessible at no cost for use in signage or other homegrown ways of showing support. Site visitors may also choose to make a monetary donation to established foundations that benefit KC-area hospitals and front-line workers.

For more information on the KC Loves Healthcare program, visit KCLovesHealthcare.org.

About Dobies Health Marketing

Since 1992, Dobies Health Marketing has offered highly specialized expertise in strategy-first marketing for health companies. The Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire health industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to technology firms, medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. With a promise to always engage strategy first, their mission combines strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.

About Grapevine Designs

Grapevine Designs markets the message of clients in a way that is ingenious and memorable, imparting the heart and soul of the brand. Based in Lenexa, Kan., their services include branded merchandise and recognition, creative services, company store programs, advertising and marketing, product search and more. Learn more at grapevinedesigns.com.

Is Advanced TV in Your Media Plan? How to Safeguard Share of Voice this Political Season

Right now it is understandable that COVID-19 coverage is dominating the airwaves (and likely your own communications, too). But when that subsides, we will still find ourselves in the midst of an attention-grabbing election year. Huge coffers of political ad dollars will be dispatched to command as much share of voice in your market as possible between now and November. The question is: How can you break through the noise so your own TV advertising dollars are well spent in the face of so much competition for consumer attention?

The answer: Advanced TV. And here’s why:

Experts predict a 57% growth in political ad spending this year, with a total ad buy of $6 billion. That’s a jaw-dropping amount, yes, but consider this: The majority of those dollars ($4.4 billion) will go to broadcast TV, cable TV and radio buys, while the remaining $1.6 billion will go toward digital videos, primarily distributed via Facebook and Google.

See the opportunity there? Advanced TV is not a notable part of the political advertising media mix – but it can be in yours.

How can you break through the noise so your own TV advertising dollars are well spent in the face of so much competition for consumer attention? The answer: Advanced TV. Here’s why: Share on X

Television has evolved far beyond the living room, and your under-50 audience segments are spending more and more time on non-traditional TV outlets. According to eMarketer, the number of U.S. “Pay TV” (cable, satellite, also known as linear TV) households in America is steadily declining, while “Non-Pay TV” (internet streaming, also known as advanced TV) is growing at the same rate. Consumers want the anywhere, anytime convenience that advanced TV provides, so meeting them on those platforms helps capture the share of voice you need, even as political ads amp up elsewhere.

RELATED: Exploring the Advanced TV Ecosystem: Options for Amplified Targeting

The appeal of advanced TV advertising doesn’t end there. Consider these benefits, compiled through collaboration with our digital media partners at Goodway Group:

Advanced TV empowers you to meet consumers where they live, work and play. Studies show that Millennials, Gen Z and Gen X consumers already spend close to 1.5 hours/day watching advanced TV (with Boomers coming close behind at just under an hour per day). Growth in streaming platforms means advanced TV viewership continues to rise, creating crucial new audience segments that your linear TV media buy will have trouble engaging, particularly in a national election year:

  • “Cord-cutters” – those canceling their cable and satellite subscriptions
  • “Cord-nevers” – those who never had cable or satellite subscriptions in the first place
  • “Cord-togglers” – those who view a mix of linear and advanced TV platforms

Cord-cutters are expected to be upwards of 55 million people by 2022, with another 40+ million cord-nevers and counting. Bottom line: Pay TV consumption is expected to drop from 68% in 2019 to 57% by 2023, and streaming media consumption is overtaking traditional TV channels in top markets across the country.

Going digital enables much more precise, data-driven targeting. Better targeting makes your advertising dollars stretch further. Meaning, you can eliminate wasted ad impressions by making sure your ads reach only prospective customers, avoiding those whose behaviors, interests and demographics indicate high unlikelihood to buy. Advanced TV’s robust data (which can be leveraged alongside your own first-party/CRM data and other third-party data sources) enables you to make reliable, data-driven decisions about when, where and to whom your ad should air. As a result, you’ll reduce wasted impressions that come standard with linear television buys. But speaking of wasted impressions via linear TV…

Sophisticated advanced TV reporting will illuminate smarter strategies for linear TV buys. Your advanced TV media buy will capture, analyze and report on audience behaviors and engagement levels as your ads play – such as what times your primary targets are engaging most with your ads, what types of shows they’re watching, and how many times they need to see your ad before taking action. Integrating advanced TV into your media mix will unlock new insights that can drive other parts of your media plan as well, including linear TV.

Advanced TV audiences are often more engaged – which is visible in real time. Rather than just playing it as “background noise” (as is common with stationary living room TVs), consumers who stream TV tend to be more actively tuned into the content they’re consuming, giving you a better window into how, where and when to best resonate with them. The ability to see results in real time allows for rapid adjustments in campaign parameters for improved effectiveness, greater ROI and a healthy share of voice.

For all those reasons and more, smart 2020 marketers will go to advanced TV, where they will find many customers but few political advertisers. As we continue transitioning to an ever more online environment, secure your share of voice in a very crowded media market – deploy smart media strategies so your messages meet the right people at the right place and time.

RELATED: The Secret Behind Share of Voice (How It Drives Market Share)

About the Author

Julie Amor, Chief Strategy OfficerJulie Amor, MHA, President and Chief Strategy Officer for Dobies Health Marketing, has 30 years of experience elevating healthcare brands. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.


Digital Advertising Agency

Exploring the Advanced TV Ecosystem: Options for Amplified Targeting

TV and digital media consumption are on the rise, particularly right now as social distancing and self-isolation takes hold across the country. Advanced TV, which has been steadily growing in popularity for the past few years, is well poised to help consumers fill their time and escape from topics like COVID-19 and the 2020 election by watching what they want, when and where they want it. That’s the consumer-centric offering of advanced, non-linear TV, which is expected to be in nearly half (43.5%) of U.S. households by 2023.

As a healthcare marketer, have you incorporated advanced TV advertising into your media mix? If not, it’s time to get started. I discuss the benefits of advanced TV advertising in detail in this blog post, and I encourage everyone to read it if you’re interested in learning more about how to protect your share of voice in the hyper-crowded ad spaces of 2020. But first, if you could use a breakdown of the basics of advanced TV advertising options, this is the blog for you.

So, what exactly is Advanced TV?

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, advanced TV is, “any television content that has evolved beyond traditional, linear television delivery models.” Compliments of our digital media partners at Goodway Group, the following information provides a good overview of the various types:

Connected TV

Example: A viewer watching television through a Roku device sees your commercial on the HGTV streaming app.

  • Connected TV ads are served on televisions via over-the-top devices (Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hulu, Roku, Apple TV, etc.)
  • They are also served on smart TV apps and gaming consoles
  • As the most evolved inventory in the advanced TV ecosystem, Connected TV offers broad reach alongside highly sophisticated audience targeting capabilities
Exploring the Advanced TV Ecosystem – Options for Amplified Targeting: Share on X

TV Everywhere

Example: User accessing her Hulu account from a tablet sees your commercial while watching The Hunger Games.

  • These ads play on streaming apps created by TV networks, which require a login to access
  • The ads are only shown on mobile, tablets and desktop devices.
  • Generally skewing to a younger audience
  • Tracking is available on cookie-enabled devices, making this a particularly good tactic if you have click or activity goals

Video on Demand

Example: A viewer with a Comcast set-top cable box sees your commercial while watching an on-demand episode of Chopped on the Food Network.

  • These ads are shown during on-demand viewings via set-top box apps through a cable or satellite provider
  • The ads are only shown on a television, and they complement your linear TV buy by extending reach to other audiences

Programmatic TV

Example: Viewer watching the latest episode of This Is Us live on their television sees your commercial because it was purchased through a programmatic platform.

  • This type involves linear inventory that can be purchased programmatically and served during live programming
  • These ads are only shown on televisions, and are limited to national campaigns only
  • With the largest scale, programmatic TV is a great fit for brand awareness campaigns seeking national exposure

From highly engaged audiences to data-driven optimization tools and a heightened ability to reach key audiences where they live, work and play, there are many reasons why advanced TV advertising increased 276% from 2017 to 2020. The steady, ongoing rise in advanced TV spends by TV advertisers further reflects a healthy overall sense of optimism and satisfaction with ad performance on these platforms.

RELATED: Is Advanced TV in Your Media Plan? How to Safeguard Share of Voice this Political Season

RELATED: Meaningful Insights to Guide Your Hospital Advertising Strategies

About the Author

Julie Amor, Chief Strategy OfficerJulie Amor, MHA, President and Chief Strategy Officer for Dobies Health Marketing, has 30 years of experience elevating healthcare brands. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.

Level the Competitive Landscape for Your Health System

Bring your local market into focus with data-driven insights

During my career as Vice President of Marketing for a large academic medical center, we were considered a marketing machine. As the market leader, we owned share of voice and grew our share of market year after year, consistently outpacing our competition in customer engagement.

As brands with the greatest market share, market leaders typically enjoy the largest profit margins. On a local level, they are the powerhouses of the industry, household names with significant brand awareness. Market challengers – those vying for the position of market leader – must cause positive disruption among competitors by differentiating themselves from the market leader, thus elevating themselves above the competition.

Share of voice is a critical metric for consumer marketing. Quite often, when hospitals evaluate share of voice and competitive positioning in the context of the full competitive landscape, they find their ad spend is not enough. Why? Because increasing share of voice is essential to market share growth.

Moving the dial on top-line growth requires a smart, strategic approach to advertising – and to be strategic, you need data that bring your entire advertising landscape into focus. Share on X

Data-driven marketing decisions have the power to elevate a market challenger to a market leader, securing market share growth and building both volume and preference. soviews+, a proprietary media market profile tool, arms hospitals and health systems with essential, exclusive data to inform creative and strategic decisions. soviews+ empowers hospital leadership to evaluate their current brand positions, shape positioning strategies and fine-tune advertising tactics.

The only interactive competitive media market profile designed exclusively for hospital marketers by hospital marketers, soviews+ delivers hard-to-find, specialized insight. With presentation-ready findings delivered right to your desktop, soviews+ analyzes and packages market intelligence on your top competitors – including share of voice, media spend, media mix, core messaging, creative samples (spot TV, print, digital and social), and more. By combining creative strategy and marketing analyses with spend data for you and your top competitors, soviews+ uncovers details you need to know about your advertising landscape, so you can enhance strategic decision-making in your local market.

To schedule a brief online demonstration of soviews+, contact me online or reach out to me directly at jamor@dobies.com.

Reader Tip: For a detailed, empirical analysis of the relationship between share of voice and share of market, I recommend reading, “Budgeting for the Upturn – Does Share of Voice Matter?”. Among other revelations, this study by The Nielsen Company shows when share of voice exceeds share of market, you gain “excess share of voice” points that, at the right threshold, will quantifiably produce extra market share growth.

About the Author

Julie Amor, Chief Strategy OfficerJulie Amor, MHA, President and Chief Strategy Officer for Dobies Health Marketing, has 30 years of experience elevating healthcare brands. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.


Leading the Way: What Every New Hospital CEO Needs to Know from the Marketing Team

An image of executives engaged in a discussion.One in four U.S. hospitals hires a new CEO every 3-4 years. That statistic, which comes from a 10-year study by the American College of Healthcare Executives, is a call to action. Why? Because rapid turnover at the executive level can have adverse effects on hospital relationships with key stakeholders like physicians, staff, board members, community partners, donors and others.

Clearly, hospitals – particularly rural and frontier hospitals – are challenged by recruiting the right leader for the organization and its community. Few studies, and even fewer hospital marketing executives, have explored what it takes to prepare newly recruited CEOs for stronger leadership. When new CEOs have an in-depth understanding of local market conditions and positioning opportunities, they are better prepared to move the organization forward.

As the CEO and founder of a strategy-first health marketing firm, I have supported several healthcare organizations as they onboarded new CEOs. I find it is most helpful to bring clarity to only a few key strategies – just the top areas that have the greatest potential to protect and grow the organization’s value. To illustrate my point, here are three noteworthy highlights from a conversation I had with a newly hired hospital CEO:

  1. The marketing function should be data driven, and marketing metrics should align with the organization’s strategic plan. To inform the organization’s marketing strategies, a strong marketing leader applies muscle to measuring and analyzing the right performance indicators, including relevant market share, consumer sentiment and advertising share of voice. The CEO will want to see the most important metrics rolled into the organization’s Executive Dashboard. He or she will also want to know that marketing leaders manage the department’s own metrics to measure ad performance and return, web analytics, and changes in share and sentiment each month. We shared a typical dashboard, pointing out:
    • Current and three-year market share
    • Current net promoter scores by hospital and key service lines
    • The biggest area in need of and/or poised for improvement
  2. Marketing leadership should actively ensure that the brand contributes to the current and future value of the organization. It’s important for the CEO to understand that brand is what you do. A hospital’s brand is an intangible asset that lives in the hearts and minds of its consumers, formed by actual experiences with the hospital and what is communicated to them. With this foundation, the CEO also needs to understand it is marketing’s role to ensure that everyone knows how to authentically deliver on the brand promise across the enterprise. This is the perfect segue to discuss how the CEO can support the marketing team in that effort, which brings me to this last point…
  3. It is essential to have an annual strategic marketing plan that outlines how the organization drives sustainable volume growth and market share. To manage that plan and the service line plans that support it, marketers should meet monthly with service line leaders to ensure marketing readiness and measure results. From a CEO’s perspective, this information is necessary to understand if service line leaders are ready to support growth.
Turnover is too high among hospital CEOs. Here’s how marketing leaders can change that: Share on X

This was the first of many conversations that led to the CEO being highly engaged and supportive of the marketing function – and it created a strong starting point for ensuring that the CEO continues to be a vocal champion of the brand. With turnover as high as it is among hospital chief executives, any vision for the organization’s future becomes notably harder to achieve. The path to greater success – for the organization as well as its C-suite leadership – must be paved with data-driven insights, smart growth strategies and a commitment to brand authenticity.

About the Author

Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder of Dobies Health Marketing

Carol Dobies, MBA, is the CEO and Founder of Dobies Health Marketing, where she has been bringing healthcare brands to life for 35+ years. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.


Dobies Health Marketing is recognized as a top Digital Marketing Company on DesignRush.